Inspired by the author’s experiences working with Hunter S. Thompson, an exhilarating, full-speed-ahead roman à clef about an ambitious young writer who takes a job as an assistant to an unmotivated, drug-addled literary icon and helps him finish his long-awaited novel – by any means necessary.
Alley Russo is a recent Ivy League grad desperately trying to make it in New York publishing. She has no connections, even less money, and slings drinks at a Bleecker Street dive bar while slogging through an unpaid internship at Beat magazine. It’s there that she hears that the infamous Walker Reade is looking for an assistant – after eight others have recently come and gone – to help him finish his next novel. Hungry for a chance to transcend her working-class roots, not to mention score an experienced editor’s eyes on the manuscript she’s poured her heart into, Alley takes the job.
After surviving an absurd three-day “trial period” involving a .44 magnum, purple-pyramid acid, violent verbal outbursts, brushes with fame and the law, a bevy of peacocks, and a whole lot of cocaine, she’s invited to stay. Over the ensuing months, as Alley attempts to coax the novel out of Walker one long page at a time, the endless procrastinating, vampiric schedule, Herculean substance abuse, Walker’s mounting debt, and his casual gunplay will exact a toll on Alley’s psyche. By the time she fully grasps the reality of her situation – that she’s alone in the Colorado Rockies at the mercy of a drug-addicted icon whose literary powers are waning – her fate may already be sealed.